Sunday, February 27, 2011

Post 46.2: Another Pit-stop at Chego (West LA: Palms)

A month ago I barely knew about this place.  In fact, I didn't even know that Palms existed. 

M1: You live where?
M2: Palms
M1: Where is that?
M2: I don't know... somewhere in West LA..
M1: I'll Google map it.

I now identify Palms by "where Chego is."

So Palms, I'm back to pick up M2... which means Chego, I'm back for the buttered kimchi chow and chubby pork belly.  Bring em out, bring em out!

M1 and M2 dropped by on the way to LAX, and we planned to get some take-out, but our flight was delayed until after midnight (good job, Southwest), which means we had plenty of time to finish our food.  And thank goodness for the extra time... those were big bowls of food.

The buttered kimchi chow is a bed of rice... no, a hilltop of rice... topped off with red chili tofu, edamame, chopped sesame seed leaves, bits of chicharrones, and a fried egg.  The taste of the first bite reminded me of an already-mixed soon tofu with rice.  The rice is buttery rich, and when it's mixed with the creaminess of the runny egg yolk, there is an allusion to the possibility of Korean risotto.  What is made smooth from the buttered rice and egg yolk is contrasted by the pop of kimchi, the bumps of edamame, and the vein-textured gaenip... but perhaps not enough.  I kept picking the kimchi out just to get a bit more contrast in flavor and texture.  Luckily I found what I wanted in texture and flavor contrast in the chubby pork belly.

The chubby pork belly is exactly what the title says it is.  Plump, fatty, flavorful pork belly in all its juicy, lipidic glory.  Mmmmm... and all of that delicious fatty pork looks like it's sprouting from a bed of rice.  Implanted in the rice are chopped water spinach (ong choy), peanuts, and pickled watermelon radishes.  The triple combo of ong choy, peanuts, and pickled radishes in the pork belly bowl works better than the kimchi chow's triple combo of kimchi, edamame and gaenip.  The contrasting textures and flavors are more apparent, which helps maintain interest and curiosity in digging deeper into the big bowl of food.  This one... I like.  Yum.

On my first pit-stop to Chego, I picked up two items from the End section of the menu... on this pit-stop I tasted two items from the Middle section of the menu.  Perhaps the next pit-stop in Palms will yield two items from the Beginning... the ooey gooey fries and 3PM meatballs sound promising.

Until the next pit-stop, let's all get S.O.F.A.T.

ML - 20110225

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